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 Boerboel

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binyam
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PostSubject: Boerboel   Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:53 am

some pics of boerboels

http://img503.imageshack.us/my.php?image=axel2jpgw560h392ww0.jpg
http://img180.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bitework2dc8md3.jpg
http://img180.imageshack.us/my.php?image=shakajan07jpgw560h672jr1.jpg
http://img155.imageshack.us/my.php?image=tigg1hf2.jpg
http://img155.imageshack.us/my.php?image=boerboelsleeveet3.jpg

Early history
It is generally accepted that about 2700 years ago there were massively sized dogs being bred in the area of the present day middle east. These dogs were reportedly big enough to fight lions and elephants. Apparently some of these dogs found their way to Africa and we know that in the southern part of Ethiopia, dogs known as the Indian dogs were found that met the description of the Albanian or Assyrian dog from which the Canis Molossus were probably bred. In Ethiopia these dogs were even milked, and from there the name Cynomolgi, or dog milkers. The Cynomolgi dogs were also used to hunt game and keep the Wildebeests from their huts during the annual migration. It could be accepted that these Cynomolgi dogs moved south with the people of Africa and that these dogs also played a large role in the foundation stock of the Boerboel.
Selection:
Early Boerboel selection is very hard to understand for people that did not experience the type of frontier life the Boers, or people that bred the Boerboel, led. The lifestyle of the Boers or farmers in South Africa could be compared to the lifestyle of the pioneers of the Wild West in the United States.
Farmers left the civilization of that time and went into the wilderness with an ox wagon, cattle, horses and their dogs. They took their family members with them and groups of people were traveling together in what they called a trek. When they reached an unpopulated area where they wanted to stay, everybody went to their own farm. Because they found themselves in a harsh and dry land the farms had to be big, to provide enough grazing for the animals. This resulted in a sparsely populated area where gangs of marauding men and various beasts could find adequate shelter to attack anything at any time that suited them. The best solution to this problem was to keep a horde of dogs, strong enough to ward off the dangers by night, and agile enough to do the farm work by day.
The only people that could tolerate this constant threat of the wilderness were hard, fearless people, willing to take on whatever dangers come their way. It is difficult to describe to modern civilized people what type of person could live under those circumstances, because they differed so totally from the modern concept of what is acceptable. As far as the breeding of Boerboels are concerned it is only necessary to focus on their attitude towards their dogs.
In the first place the frontiers people of South Africa showed extremely little emotion, whether it is towards dogs or people. Many of the old Boere (farmers) would spend the whole day with his dog, and to an outsider it will seem that no sign of affection passed between dog and man except the occasional touch or words that were mostly orders. Dog and man will seldom be further apart than a few yards, but it will always seem as if they did not plan it that way. When danger looms, the Boerboel will take his place next to his master in an unobtrusive way. He will seldom be noisy except when the situation requires it. The dog will act as calm and collected as the master and although it will seem as if they pay no attention to the other, when one senses something strange the other will know it immediately and react to it in the appropriate way.
This very noticeable characteristic of the Boerboel; to be seemingly disinterested in people and occurrences that his master approve of, has been selected into the Boerboel by the Boere that do not want a dog that is a nuisance. More important though is the ability of the Boerboel to react when his master want him to. The dog with his sharper senses will pick up an approaching danger like a leopard or buffalo and react quickly and violently to kill or distract the danger. Word of a Boerboel with a temperament that suits the frontiersman traveled far and wide, and resulted in the widespread use of his progeny or services in the Boerboel gene pool of the time.
Although it might have seemed that the Boer did not give his dog a lot of love or affection, in reality there was a very deep bond between them. Naturally the Boerboel will give his life for his master; and that happened frequently. From the masters side the same could be said. That self same hard and non affectionate Boer, will walk for miles with an injured or killed Boerboel in his arms, just to make sure he is protected from predators in his helpless state or spare the dog the agony of walking with a painful leg. Man and dog shared their water and food on a regular basis. For the Boer only the best was good enough for his dog, although on the surface it would appear not to be the case. He knew if the Boerboel was allowed to sleep in the house it would be unaccustomed to the wild and when he had to negotiate the dangers of the night, he would not be able to cope. He would also not protect his Boerboel from dangers such as snakes and lion, so that the dog can become acquainted to those dangers and learn how to handle them. It was not uncommon to hear the remark that this or that Boerboel was too brave and he died because he was not cautious. Even in the selection for braveness there are checks and balances that the Boerboel was subjected to.
The Boer also gave his dog the best preparation for his life. He taught him how to track, how to hunt, how to avoid the weapons of men, etc. He also exposed him to the dangerous hunts (lion, leopard, porcupine, wild boar, etc.) in the company of experienced hunting dogs. That taught him to react with caution at the appropriate times.
Something that must be remembered is that the pioneers kept large numbers of dogs. Reports could be found where tales are told of a single farmer with ten to fifteen watch dogs (or more) to keep vermin like Hyena from their sheep. A large hyena with its strong jaw (stronger than a lion) is a formidable opponent and could kill a few dogs before he himself is killed. The reports states that the Boerboel is very well adapted to this task and add "it would be difficult to find more resolute and courageous dogs than this breed."
A fact that reflects not very positively on the writers' own people (Boere) is the culling they used. The children usually herded the cattle, and they started this from a very young age. The Boerboels that accompanied the children to the veld was to a very large extent their main protection. If one of those Boerboels showed an inclination to growl at a child, he was shot. If he was unreliable and strayed from the children, he got shot as well. If he ran away from danger he was also shot. Today, 200 years later, it is very difficult to understand those very harsh actions, but it must be remembered that the Boer did not dare keep a Boerboel that will react wrongly in a crisis situation and lead to the death of his family or himself. One of the biggest assets in the development of the Boerboel breed was the deep rooted belief of the Boere that there was only one cure for a bad dog and that was culling. I only understood this better when I realized that in cattle, sheep and pig farming, there was a great tolerance of bad animals, because their faults could be corrected by breeding while the animal still had a commercial value. Dogs at that time had no monetary value. There was a saying amongst the Afrikaner Boere that you do not buy women, dogs or ("groenmielies") corn on the cob. Because the unwanted dogs could not be sold they were culled. This strict culling resulted in a very quick improvement of the overall quality of the Boerboel breed.
As the reader will note, all of the traits mentioned so far concerned the dog's temperament or character. The Boerboel was therefore selected for function, mainly on the basis of his temperament. The Boerboel breed as such was built on a wide basis of dogs with the ability to satisfy the farmer's needs for a dog that could live and work in close cooperation with the whole family. The most important traits that decided the inclusion of a dog in the early Boerboel gene pool was reliability, intelligence, faithfulness, fearlessness, devotion to his master, calmness, self assuredness, alertness, protectiveness, prey drive and carefulness. In fact, without anybody knowing it, the dogs that would play a role in the formation of the breed was selected on the strength of their temperament without any thought to breed conformation, uniformity or breed standards of any kind. The binding factor or common denominator was their temperament.
Early photos and remaining specimens give an indication that, included in this Boerboel gene pool, were some poor examples of the modern Boerboel. What is clear however is that the Boere has reached their main aim and that was to get a moderately large dog with the desired psyche. Farmers (Boere) in different areas had different physical requirements of their dogs. Dogs in the grassy plains of the high veld differed in physical appearances from dogs in the low veld that is mainly bushveldt. The Boerboels developed in the high veld were more agile, taller and leaner muscled than those in the bushveldt. Because the Boerboel played such an important role in the farming operations of that time, the Boere was willing to go to great lengths to improve the quality of their dogs. When they heard of an outstanding dog, it was not too much trouble to take his bitch to such a dog for mating. The resulting progeny were spread far and wide and in this way the different bloodlines were formed.
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PostSubject: Re: Boerboel   Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:55 am

Selection for physical ability.
Although the personality of the dog was always the most important criterion for selection, physical ability would also have played a role in the selection that shaped the Boerboel breed. The main functions of the Boerboel was guarding, working cattle and sheep and hunting.
The Boerboel had to guard people, animals and property. In order to do that he had to be physically imposing with the ability to fight. Of cause he had to have all the psychological attributes already discussed as well. In order to ward off large predators like hyena, leopard and lion, the Boerboel must be big with a big head. He must also be extremely strong to take on those animals in a stand up fight. The old Boere set great store by the ability of their dogs to fight other dogs, because that is an indication of their ability to fight predators. In an open range type of farming like they had then, there were no fences or kennels and fights amongst dogs were very common in order to determine the rank of all the dogs in the area. Large predators were mostly tackled by a group of dogs, although certain dogs were able to kill something like a leopard on his own. Dogs bred for guard duty was bigger, better muscled and with heavier bone than the other dogs.
During the day, most of the Boerboels were used as working dogs on the farm. Only a few stayed at home as watch and guard dogs, and then it were mainly the old, sick or pregnant ones, with the young dogs. Some of the dogs went with the herds of cattle or sheep to guard them, while another group each had its own team of working oxen that he stayed with. On the larger farms the 'preferred one' usually accompanied the master on his day to day tasks, like visiting all the activities on the farm. The herd guards and general farm dog was usually heavier built dogs.
What people often find interesting is the work for the dogs accompanying the ox teams. When it was time to plough the lands, the oxen was rounded up in the morning at about 3am and then they were hitched to the yoke. The dog helped with the rounding up of the oxen and then when they were ordered to stand in a row, side by side, with the word 'Hoi', he would intimidate the oxen, so that they stand still and present their heads to be fastened. If an ox decided to run, the dog would round him up immediately and would in the extreme cases grab him by the nose, and bring him in. Sometimes he will just give the ox a nip to remind him of his wicked ways. A few oxen together were loosely tied by rawhide to the yoke or chain, to keep them controlled, while the other oxen are handled. The Boerboel then comes and sit or stand just in front of the oxen's eyes and keep them quiet by either growling or just by his presence. Some handlers used to put the rawhides by which the oxen were tied in the mouth of the dog in order to control the oxen.
Boerboels capable of intimidating a whole team of world wise oxen, was usually big, self assured and intimidating to the degree that a small boy could watch them perform for hours. The team usually tries out a new dog by snorting, throwing the horns in the air and mock charging. Very few dogs could stand that, but the "King of dogs", the Boerboel, calmly stand his ground, growl a deep menacing growl, bite one or two lips just slightly, and restore order without losing his cool. Most other dogs in that situation either panic or become so agitated that they lose the plot completely and the oxen would scatter.
Most of the dogs will walk with the team until they are put out to pasture at about 10 am, and the Boerboel will then stay with the implement and yoke's until about 3.30 pm when the whole process starts again.
About 50 years ago, when farming was much easier than in the pioneer days, young boys usually used this idle time and slipped away between 10 am and 3 pm to do some hunting with the dogs. It is generally believed that in the Boerboel breed the dogs that developed as the hunting dogs were later registered as the Rhodesian Ridge back. The heavier Boerboel with the shorter wider muzzle and heavier bone with more muscle is not the traditional hunting dog, but more the fighter in the hunting process. It sometimes happens that the fast greyhound type of dog overrun a jackal and then the jackal stops to make a fight of it. A jackal can put up a show that convinces the greyhounds he is able to kill a lion. Often the fast dogs sit down to discuss the whole matter with the jackal, and the slower Boerboel comes storming into the circle, scoops up the jackal and by the time he comes to a halt, the jackal can do no more talking.
It is sometimes said that a Boerboel must be able to catch a rabbit and kill a lion. Under normal circumstances the Boerboel can do neither. Rabbits are usually too agile for one Boerboel to catch on his own. A pack of Boerboels might succeed and many rabbits were caught by Boerboels under circumstances that favored the dog, but Boerboels were not bred to catch rabbits. The Boerboel capable of catching a rabbit will also differ greatly from a Boerboel 'able' to kill a lion. The first one will be a sprinter and the second one will be a fighter. The sprinter will be a lean, sparingly muscled, agile dog with a narrow, long face, while the fighter will be the "body builder" with a wide body, lots of muscle and a wide short face. It is told by a reliable source, that years ago a particular zoo obtained stray dogs that they put into the lion camp as prey for the lions, to keep up their hunting skills. An unfortunate Boerboel bitch that ended up in the lions cage, felt that her time had not come yet, and she somehow got hold of the lion's throat and killed him. It was probably great news at the time and she was used for breeding after that.
The biggest hunting function of the Boerboel lies in fighting predators. Stories of Boerboels killing leopard in South Africa are very common. If the Boerboel survives he seldom does so without serious wounds. This one story, heard from a reliable source, will illustrate the seriousness of the Boer's views towards coward ness:
"A young boy went hunting with his fathers Boerboel and a .22 gun. In his inexperience he shot at a leopard and wounded him, probably only a light flesh wound. The dog followed the leopard to his den and refused to fight when the child ordered him to. The boy then ordered the dog to keep the Leopard in his den and he went back home where he found his father and a neighbor. The neighbor offered to bring his two big dogs of a different breed to get the leopard out because they were 'trained' leopard dogs. When they reached the den, the father called back his Boerboel and the other two dogs were sent in. When they met the leopard he gave the front dog a smack with his paw and the dog fled the scene with his tail between his legs. The father then ordered his Boerboel to attack the leopard, which he did, because his own master ordered him to do it, and he killed the leopard. When they got back to the pick-up that was parked nearby, the frightened dog was hiding under it. The owner shot his cowardly dog there and then."
Porcupine are very dangerous animals in that they run into their attacker and the quills are impossible for the dog to get out, it is extremely painful and without exception, the wound becomes septic. Lions that knows porcupine will never tackle them. Porcupine however is a very destructive animal in the maize fields and does a lot of harm to a crop, and therefore farmers hunt them to keep their numbers down. Dogs could do nothing to them unless they are able to come in under the quills and reach the soft head of the porcupine. Boerboels have proven themselves time and time again as excellent hunters of porcupine because they stay calm in the most tense moments and wait for the appropriate time to attack. They also have that inborn sense of awareness to stay away from the most dangerous situations, or postpone their attack until circumstances favors them. Boerboels are often used as protection against snakes such as the formidable hunter, the black mamba. When a Boerboel knows how to kill a mamba, he abides his time, and just as the snake starts to get up the tree, the Boerboel attacks.
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PostSubject: Re: Boerboel   Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:57 am

how do u post pic i have a lot of pic to post
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PostSubject: Re: Boerboel   Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:11 am

[img][/img]
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PostSubject: Re: Boerboel   Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:44 am

excellent info n pics!! keep it up!! thanks for sharing.. u have put in a great effort!!:)Cool
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PostSubject: Re: Boerboel   Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:59 am

thanks man
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